Can we focus on saving lives now?

InSite works.

Despite Conservative tough dumb-on-crime rhetoric, allowing people a clean and safe place to use the drugs they would anyway grants them respect, dignity, and a way out of dangerous cycles. It’s about acting grown-up about our public health issues and taking responsibility for the issue.

Now, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously agrees

The appeal and the cross?appeal are dismissed.  The Minister of Health is ordered to grant an exemption to Insite under s. 56 of the Controlled Drug and Substances Act forthwith.

In order to make use of the lifesaving and health?protecting services offered at Insite, clients must be allowed to be in possession of drugs on the premises.  Prohibiting possession at large engages drug users’ liberty interests; prohibiting possession at Insite engages their rights to life and to security of the person.

It’s not clear yet if Harper and his TheoCons will continue to fight this, but hopefully he’s smart enough to know when he’s lost and walk away.

This is an important ruling and hopefully now InSite and its supporters can continue their life-saving work, and look to replicate their success.